“Flappy Bird” will not be available for download after Sunday morning, game developer Dong Nguyen said Saturday in a surprising series of tweets.
The game has recently risen to the top of charts of both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Users tap their smartphone screen to propel a bird through a series of gaps between green tubes, which look like the ones in the popular Mario Nintendo video games. If a user hits a tube, his character dies.
The point of the game is to get the highest possible score, but “Flappy Bird” is notorious for its extreme level of difficulty. It’s possible to score 9,999, but getting even three points can be a challenge.
Earlier this week, Nguyen spoke with The Verge and said the game was making $50,000 per day on average from advertisements. He said he didn’t plan on updating the game anytime soon because he did not want to mess with its success. He said he was also considering making a sequel.
On Friday, however, he updated the game, and on Saturday at 11 a.m. PST he said he would be removing “Flappy Bird” from the app stores in 22 hours.
“I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore,” he tweeted.
Nguyen went on to say that he is not selling nor does he plan to sell “Flappy Bird.” He said the game is not being removed for any legal reasons, and then added that he plans to continue developing more games.
“I just cannot keep it anymore,” Nguyen said.
“Flappy Bird” launched in May, but it did not gain traction until November. The game has now been downloaded more than 10 million times on Android devices alone.
It’s unclear why Nguyen has decided to remove the game, but there has been speculation that Nguyen may have boosted the game’s popularity using fake accounts to help “Flappy Bird’s” rankings.
Whether or not Nguyen actually plans on removing the app remains to be seen, but any users who want to play the game should download it now.